Metal thieves have been busy removing catalytic converters across the nation and in the state of Texas. KEYE-TV reports that the theft of motor vehicle parts was up 60% last year in Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties.

About a year ago, Temple police reported 26 cases of catalytic converter theft in the town in less than three months, and in August of 2021 a friend of our radio station was targeted too.

Thieves are still hard at work.

In early February of 2022, 34 catalytic converters were stolen from American Dream Vacations RV Sales and Rentals in Austin during the middle of the night. In College Station, two teenagers were charged with stealing catalytic converters back in January, according to KBTX.

Last weekend in Texarkana, dozens of people had their catalytic converters stolen. Most of the thefts happened in broad daylight while people were shopping or eating in restaurants, according to KTBS.

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Why Are Catalytic Converters Being Stolen?

Catalytic converters contain precious metals like palladium and rhodium. Since these elements have increased in value over the past five years, thieves are more tempted to steal and resell them. Trucks and SUV's are more susceptible to thefts since it's easier to crawl under them and cut through the metal.

KXAN reports that the Austin police department's 2020 data shows these are the five most targeted vehicles:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Honda Element
  • Ford Econoline
  • Chevrolet Express
  • Toyota Tundra

Stopping Catalytic Converter Theft

Motor vehicle-related thefts are rising steadily in Texas. To help with prevention, the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority awarded $13.6 million in funding to law enforcement agencies.

To help prevent this crime, make sure to park your vehicle in a well-lit area with the car alarm armed. You can also get a protective cage installed over it.

In the meantime, stay alert! It only takes five minutes or less for a thief to saw off your catalytic converter.


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